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  • Writer's pictureHunter Cresswell

Running like Redblacks

Running three times a week is a small price to pay for tickets to the Ottawa Redblacks first home game of the season.

A group of St. Michael’s High School students in the Low school’s running club went to the Redblacks stadium last week for a fun-run, tour of the stadium, and received tickets to the upcoming home game.

“We all had an amazing day,” St. Mike’s teacher and running club organizer Stephen Satenstein told the Low Down.

A group of 21 students, who ran outside of class for 25 minutes three times a week since last year, went to TD Place in Ottawa on April 22 and either ran a five or 10-kilometre run along the Rideau Canal. The runners got a tour of the stadium, including the field, where they met a couple of football players who were training. A parting gift from the stadium was tickets to the first home game of the season on July 17 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“That was very cool — some of the kids are big fans,” Satenstein said.

He explained that the club started up last year when extracurricular activities were prohibited because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were looking for something kids could do in their free time to occupy their minds,” Satenstein said.

He said that the TD Place field trip was a big win for a rural school like St. Mike’s, which doesn’t often get opportunities like this.

“I don’t know how exactly we landed it — calling and asking I guess,” Satenstein said, laughing.

His original idea was to run five or 10 kilometres along the canal with the students and have their run end on the TD Place field. But when the school called the stadium, staff invited the students and chaperones to take a tour and offered game tickets.

Satenstein thanked St. Mike’s physical education teacher Matthew Orlando for calling the stadium setting up the tour.

“He’s the charmer who seemed to hook this up,” Satenstein said.

Despite this, Orlando – who bragged to the Low Down about having been trained to speak to the media and has never been shy talking to the press before – declined to speak on the record about this event. He instead said he wanted Satenstein to have the spotlight because he runs the club.

Satenstein said that he hopes this bolsters the running club’s ranks.

“Hopefully we’ll do it bigger and better next year with more members,” he said.

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